Bloomington tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1079&Inline=True The McLean County Regional Planning Commission  is getting paid by Bloomington: Look at where most of their funding comes from.  Who do you think they are really working for? Does the below apply to Vision Zero?  Not when the contract says information is confidential!  https://blnnews.com/2020/06/20/julie-hiles-contract/ End of an era for the […]

What about the money Bloomington owes VenuWorks?

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been paying VenuWorks $4,999.98 sporadically since 2016, payments are marked loan principle.  This story says why:   https://blnnews.com/2016/10/06/so-bloomington-claims/ The short version:  VenuWorks paid John Butler (CIAM) for equipment at the Coliseum.  The City is reimbursing them for that purchase.  The total was $299,999, no interest, payments over 5 […]

Trolls Live Scores, attendance dismal

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike the BCPA who think event reports aren’t important, VenuWorks posts theirs.  This proves the difference between a company that can be fired and City employees who know nobody cares if they do their job.  The BCPA hasn’t posted any event reports since the last time I FOID’d them.  Thanks for the […]

Hockey AGAIN?

By:  Diane Benjamin Here’s my take on today’s hockey announcement: Hockey can show a profit for VenuWorks if they are smarter than in the past. ISU is only charged $2000 to play at the Coliseum, the ticket sales are dismal so they might not break even.  At least they aren’t bleeding for the privilege of […]

More on the Coliseum LOSS

By:  Diane Benjamin On September 16, 2019 VenuWorks presented THEIR report to the Council.  We know now the report was fictitious.  The audited loss is much higher, VenuWorks should only be allowed to present audited financial statements in the future.      https://blnnews.com/2019/10/25/how-much-the-arena-really-lost/ 11:45 – Kimberly Bray thanked Lynn Cannon for everything contributed and the fantastic […]

How much the ARENA really lost

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the celebrations when VenuWorks announced they ONLY lost $276,367? They budgeted a loss of $495,514, so everybody happily reported they lost less than expected.  See PDF page 27:  https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23151 Long time readers won’t be surprised to learn the auditors didn’t agree with the  VenuWorks accounting. The audited financial report has appeared […]

Surprise, surprise – event report posted

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story from yesterday:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/16/tari-on-wjbc-3/ Usually when there is good news people like to report it quickly.  The Luke Combs concert profit is good news, why it wasn’t posted as required by the arena contract is a mystery. https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23305 Country music concerts always do well.  If VenuWorks had self-promoted this […]

New Bloomington Website – waste of YOUR space

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington is now posting information about meetings in a new place with a different presentation:  http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1129   Instead of being able to view supporting documents on-line, everything now downloads automatically.  Either people will no longer look at the documentation or their computers will be clogged with a bunch of […]

Capitalism defeats government

By:  Diane Benjamin Definition of capitalism: Making your life better by providing goods or services other people want at a price they will pay. It is a simple concept that has improved the lives of millions around the globe.  It is color blind and doesn’t care who you sleep with.  It is what made America […]

What is Bloomington paying tonight?

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21875 The BCPA has a show tomorrow night, they NEVER pay this much for an artist: https://itkt.choicecrm.net/templates/BLOM/?cts_legacy_app All the colored dots are tickets still available, the cheapest seats are $49, they go up to $64: Jamie Mathy went to a conference in Denver.  Room rates are normally $160-$180. Billy Tyus has a […]

Get ready for VenuWorks fiction

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the Quarterly losses VenuWorks has previously reported for this fiscal year: 5/1/2018 – 7/31/2018  -130,634.54   PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20022 8/1/2018 – 10/31/2018  -96,333.02    PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20795 11/1/2018 – 1/31/19    -68,108.47      PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21235 Year to date for THREE quarters shows a loss of $295,076.03. The 4th […]

Bloomington Council last night

By:  Diane Benjamin The meeting was scripted with pre-determined results, there was very little discussion on anything. The Public Hearing started with a presentation of how the Federal Grant money (CDBG) will be spent.  No one commented, it wouldn’t have changed the vote anyway.  People were urged to take the survey to determine how next […]

VenuWorks fail

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard numerous times about the lack of people working Coliseum events.  Last night was no exception. I believe the final hockey game to ever be played at the arena took place last night.  A local business sponsored suites and handed out free tickets. According to an attendee, there was only 1 […]

Arena Events finally posted

By: Diane Benjamin The missing event reports from Grossinger Motors Arena have finally been posted. Details here: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/11/more-venuworks-city-fail/ Last year the Bacon and Beer Fest made a profit of $ 12,230.53. 1319 people attended. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15976 This year the event was held earlier in the day, attendance dropped to 1166, profit dropped to $ 8,037.07. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21322 […]

Tired of being lied to?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been writing about the Coliseum and the lies media repeats for years! CIAM and VenuWorks created their own financial statements.  Every local media uses their numbers and repeats them like gospel.  Both can say anything they want in those statements – they create them. Numbers reported by both are not accurate, […]

Tari’s Ward 4 candidate and more

By: Diane Benjamin Clearly Emig is Tari’s pick for Ward 4, he’s holding an open house at his house for her.  If you aren’t a left winger and want to attend, just show up.  Responding on Facebook will get you blocked. Remember about a year ago when various Council people held “priority based budgeting” townhalls? […]

Bloomington Spiking, VenuWorks, and More

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for Monday:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20735 Two more employees are spiking their pensions – this is the penalty charged to taxpayers         When VenuWorks took over management of the Coliseum they wanted to remodel at taxpayer expense.  The City borrowed the money from them for the remodel.  These are […]

Debt: Normal vrs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/18 Normal had total debt of $89,823,286.  $88,125,000 won’t be paid off until 2041.  Interest rates range from 2.00% to 6.30%. Source As of 4/30/18 Bloomington had total debt of $242,010,034.  $57,095,000 won’t be paid off until 2035.  The interest rates aren’t listed.  $173,646,119 is liabilities for pensions and associated […]

New Years Eve canceled at Arena

By:  Diane Benjamin This event was scheduled last August for New Year’s Eve:     http://www.grossingermotorsarena.com/arena-info/news/article/2018/08/grossinger-motors-arena-to-host-new-years-eve-featuring-hairball The website doesn’t say when or why it as canceled, but it is canceled: https://www1.ticketmaster.com/hairball/event/07005515D35C66E5 A concert is scheduled for January 19th – Old Dominion.   Monster Trucks is coming February 8-10. See upcoming events here:  http://www.grossingermotorsarena.com/events-and-tickets/calendar Hockey doesn’t generate enough money […]

The media won’t report this!

By:  Diane Benjamin Long time readers know the former Coliseum managers would issue their financial statements, and then the auditor would issue theirs.  The media always reported the CIAM numbers but never the audited numbers. Audited losses were much higher! The media is continuing to report fake news because the audited number from VenuWorks aren’t […]

Bloomington taxpayers were scammed

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course a feasibility study was done before the Coliseum was built.  It predicted Revenue of $7.1 million and expenses of $4.8 million.  Operations would easily cover the cost of building it.   https://blnnews.com/2016/02/11/the-tale-of-the-coliseum-tari-a-hotel/ At last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, VenuWorks stated the arena would never lose LESS than $500,000. Any […]

Bloomington Council tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin The VenuWorks report is not the audited version, it is therefore immaterial.  Time allowed for the presentation is 5 minutes, included will be the fictional economic impact of the arena.  See PDF page 40:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=19928 Financial information is on PDF page 39.  The loss does not include depreciation on the building which […]

BCPA doesn’t exist to even break even

By:  Diane Benjamin For a brief time events report were published for BCPA shows.  It was when VenuWorks was filling the management void.  Reports are available for these shows:   http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1555 (Some shows are available from the prior year too, I’m not looking them all up!) 260 people attended Gobsmacked, the show lost $14,570.51 184 people […]

More on Parks and Rec Budgets

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the ADMIN salaries for Parks & Rec – the pencil pushers:  (pensions and benefits not included)  Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Administration What does the Zoo cost? Miller Park Zoo Budget Yes, citizens of Bloomington are paying almost $600,000 for the Zoo. It’s very cool, but obviously not run as a […]

Arena – Will Gleason shut it down?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local paper has an editorial declaring the new City Manager the right guy because Decatur re-did their downtown.  They think Normal did, so there is no reason Bloomington can’t. They forgot Normal was in ZERO debt before they spent around $100,000,000 on Uptown.  (Is that restaurant space on the Circle still […]

Budget meeting – the video

By:  Diane Benjamin The video of the December 20th budget meeting at the BCPA has been posted.  The camera angle does not allow viewers to see the data the crowd got to see. One thing is clear:  Council members like Scott Black believe government is the answer to every problem, they just need to spend […]

More Council Christmas presents

By:  Diane Benjamin Correction – approving Bills and payroll isn’t on the agenda, so they have nothing to pay! Surprise! http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-500 Bills and Payroll is not posted for tonight’s meeting.  The last time the City failed to post this days in advance of the meeting, a plane ticket for the mayor’s girlfriend was included. What […]

Party On!

By:  Diane Benjamin Toward the end of last night’s City Council meeting David Sage again discussed getting aldermen on board before something is brought to the Council.  He claims it is to save staff time when in reality it is to keep Renner from putting silly things on the agenda. David Sage: Here’s how staff […]

Tari: H**l of a mess

By:  Diane Benjamin One more recap from Monday’s City Council meeting: VenuWorks recapped what they wanted to bring to the BCPA, including saving an estimated $200,000 a year in operations. VenuWorks has access to an email list of 409,000 people in Central Illinois to help promote shows VenuWorks has plans for new revenue including concessions […]

Public Comment last night

By:  Diane Benjamin Public comment went over 30 minutes last night.  That set a new precedent for allowing it to go over 30 minutes without a Council vote.  Keep that in mind when Tari doesn’t want to allow all the speakers in the future.  The 30 minute time limit should only apply when someone is […]

September PCard + Bills

By: Diane Benjamin Even on sick leave, Tari can hold a business meeting at a bar and use the City PCard:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14856 The rest of the council still has no problem feeding themselves at your expense. Looks like the Chamber of Commerce is behind “Quality of Life” Monarch Group is Real Estate Development.  Funny how WHO […]

UPDATE: Pantagraph: Facts Matter

The on-line version has been corrected.  How are they going to correct all those printed copies?  Are there enough to worry about? ______________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin If anyone was expecting a hard-hitting editorial by the anonymous writers at the Pantagraph against Tari Renner for once again inflaming the local acrimony Monday night,  you will be […]

WGLT does journalism – mostly

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday WGLT published a comprehensive story about the Coliseum.  Ryan Denham  proved journalism isn’t dead in Bloomington-Normal yet.  Read the story here:      http://wglt.org/post/how-coliseum-blind-spot-tripped-bloomington-city-leaders I do have some comments and things I would have written differently: To much emphasis was put on the “bad contract”.  The contract had plenty of statements allowing […]

VenuWorks and the BCPA

By:  Diane Benjamin These are a few of the past payments to VenuWorks for managing the BCPA after Tina died: See anything strange? I’ll wait. Still waiting . . . . Okay, according to the dead tree, the City wants to contract with VenuWorks to manage the BCPA for a flat fee of $3000 a […]